[Wikimedia-l] WMF Policy and Political Affiliations Guideline

Sarah Stierch sarah.stierch at gmail.com
Fri Aug 3 20:02:40 UTC 2012

How come these concerns weren't brought up months ago when the "reflection" about the blackout was posted to meta?

It seems that right now Andreas, you are the main opponent of something that already happened and no one can change.

I'd just post your concerns to meta and stop this talking in circles and finger pointing. It's tiring, reads like some conspiracy theory and seems to be losing any traction of game changing that it could.

I appreciate hearing your thoughts, as many of us do, I just think they are best preserved on wiki where the majority of participants in the blackout hangout (most aren't active on mailing lists) and can participate in this analysis with you. 


Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 3, 2012, at 12:52 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM, Todd Allen <toddmallen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> We do everything in our power to prevent
>> the problem, but it would be absolutely cost prohibitive to do it 100%
>> with the difference being that fine grained, and this law gives you
>> the right to shut us down if we can't hit 100%. We think on balance
>> what we do is good even if something bad occasionally slips through,
>> so we can't support that law. And indeed, since this strikes at the
>> core of what we do and could shut us down entirely, we must do
>> everything in our power to fight the law, including energizing those
>> who use our services to speak up against it."
> That wasn't the situation though, was it? Just quoting Tim here:
> ---o0o---
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2012-July/121092.html
>> * Geoff Brigham opined otherwise, IIRC.*
> Yes, on the basis that "Wikipedia arguably falls under the definition
> of an 'Internet search engine'".
> <http://blog.wikimedia.org/2011/12/13/how-sopa-will-hurt-the-free-web-and-wikipedia/>
> The definition was:
> "The term ‘Internet search engine’ means a service made available via
> the Internet that searches, crawls, categorizes, or indexes
> information or Web sites available elsewhere on the Internet and on
> the basis of a user query or selection that consists of terms,
> concepts, categories, questions, or other data returns to the user a
> means, such as a hyperlinked list of Uniform Resource Locators, of
> locating, viewing, or downloading such information or data available
> on the Internet relating to such query or selection."
> http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3261/text
> It's hard to see how Wikipedia could fall under this definition, but
> even if it did, what would be the consequences?
> "A provider of an Internet search engine shall take technically
> feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, but in
> any case within 5 days after being served with a copy of the order, or
> within such time as the court may order, designed to prevent the
> foreign infringing site that is subject to the order, or a portion of
> such site specified in the order, from being served as a direct
> hypertext link."
> Geoff argued that we would have to manually review millions of links
> in order to comply with such a court order. But the definition of an
> "internet site" that would be specified under such a court order is:
> "[T]he collection of digital assets, including links, indexes, or
> pointers to digital assets, accessible through the Internet that are
> addressed relative to a common domain name or, if there is no domain
> name, a common Internet Protocol address."
> We already index external links by domain name or IP address for easy
> searching, and we have the ability to prevent further such links from
> being submitted, for the purposes of spam control. The compliance cost
> would be no worse than a typical [[WP:RSPAM]] report.
> Maybe SOPA was a "serious threat to freedom of expression on the
> Internet", and worth fighting against, but it wasn't a threat to
> Wikipedia's existence.
> ---o0o---
> So we were talking about Wikipedia – if indeed Wikipedia could legally
> be considered a "search engine", which seems a stretch – being given
> five (5) days to convert any direct hyperlinks they were specifically
> advised of by court order into just alphanumeric, non-clickable links.
> No?
> So all the talk about "If Wikipedia had had just one infringing link
> on it, they could have shut us down entirely" looks like a bunch of
> scaremongering nonsense you bought.
> Now, who *does* operate a search engine, and would have incurred some
> extra costs here?
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